That brings us to the player’s feature list, which pales in comparison to its big-name rivals. 3D is obviously the big talking point, but BD Live access is the extent of its networking capabilities, there’s no Internet portal and Wi-Fi support is off the agenda. Digital media playback via USB is supported, but DivX, MP3 and JPEG support is hardly likely to pique the interest of serial downloaders who want to watch their library of weird and wonderful video files in the living room.
It does, however, offer Blu-ray basics like Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio decoding/bitstream output and 1080/24p video output for film purists. And something you don’t find on many Blu-ray decks in this price bracket is the wide range of picture adjustments in the setup menu. We’re not talking professional calibration here, but the choice of two separate adjustment menus – Video Processing and Motion Video Processing – might come in handy if the deck’s factory settings don’t quite meet the needs of your display.
The former allows you to set the levels of brightness, contrast, hue and saturation, with three additional levels of sharpness. The latter offers a choice of picture presets and another Custom video mode, which delves a little deeper with adjustments for individual colours and three noise reduction settings. We welcome this level of detail but it’s not without problems – as we noted on the BDX2100, changes made in one menu apply when adjusting the other, and because the two menus overlap in places it can have a detrimental effect if not used judiciously.
The other problem is that you can’t access the setup menu during playback, and therefore any picture adjustments have to be made blind. If you’re not satisfied with the results you have to hit stop and go through the whole process again – and as most Blu-ray discs don’t allow you to resume playback, you’ll lose your place in the movie too.
Aside from that though, the deck is remarkably easy to use. The modern-looking main menu is logically laid out and responsive, plus the setup menu options are self-explanatory and the lack of complex features at least makes installation simple. It’s controlled by a terrific remote, which may look and feel a little cheap but boasts faultless button placement and clear labelling.